Thin metal film electronic devices deliver a current when exposed to reactive gases. This is evidence for direct conversion of chemical to electronic energy and for non-adiabatic energy dissipation during surface reactions.

The morphology, electronic and phononic structure of nanoparticles and ultrathin films on surfaces are studied by various methods to understand chemical, catalytic and interface properties.

Graphene and C60 films

Extremely thin carbon layers on surfaces have unique chemical and electronic properties. Graphene on SiC(0001) can be doped by alkaline metals showing a semimetal to metal transition. C60 layers on GaN lead to a strong chemical passivation of the surface which prevents oxidation and thermal decomposition.

Surface phonons and vibrations

With angle-resolved high-resolution electron energy loss spectroscopy the dispersion and, hence, the nature of surface-localized vibrations are studied. Various clean and adsorbate covered semiconductor surfaces were studied to understand the coupling of the vibrations and the local force constants.